By Eric Jay Toll for The Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Boyer Company was the only firm responding to Maricopa’s RFI about developing a business park on the 52 city-owned acres. The information is in front of city officials in Maricopa as it reviews the opportunity for a public-private partnership in developing the Estrella Gin property. The RFI closed August 13th.
“We’re looking at industrial vacancy rates under two percent,” explains Micah Miranda, CEcD, economic development director, “and need space for local industries to expand and new ones to site here.” The city has seen a number of opportunities lost and local jobs move elsewhere as a result of the shortage. The office vacancy rate – a low 8.5 percent – cuts into opportunities for businesses to find space for growth or relocation in the Pinal County city.
“We love to go into a town and work with them to redevelop a site into a great project,” says Matt Jensen, Boyer Company project manager for the Estrella Gin Business Park. Boyer responded to the RFI with its experience and interest. The Salt Lake City-based developer is currently developing a lab building/parking garage for the Downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus, near the future U of A Cancer Center and ASU’s HSEB building, which just wrapped up construction.
“This wasn’t a formal solicitation, but an RFI that will help us with development of a potential solicitation,” explains Maricopa purchasing manager Patricia LaCombe, CPPB. City staff will make recommendations to the city council sometime this fall. A 60 to 90 day request for qualification process is likely the next step following the report to the council.
“This project is similar to one we did for Ogden (Utah),” Jensen said. “We partnered with the city for the redevelopment of the Defense Depot, an abandoned army supply base, and provided the design, development and financing for a master planned project. The city has the land, facilitated planning and we went after tenants.” Jenson said with the adjoining railroad tracks and nearby state highways, the Maricopa site has good potential for offices and flexible industrial development.
The polygon-shaped parcel is basically a rectangle with the south boundary angling along Garvey Ave. and the Union Pacific Rail Road tracks. The city acquired the property for a public works yard, but the location is no longer efficient for that purpose. It’s located about a quarter mile west of SR 347 and south of SR 238.